National Justice for Animals Week

I just discovered that this week is the first ever  National Justice for Animals Week, sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.   The goal of this annual campaign is to increase “public awareness nationwide about how to report animal abuse—and how to work within your community to create stronger laws and assure tough enforcement.”

The campaign has a different suggested daily action to help work toward justice for animals, as well as information and resources to help you take action in your own community and abroad. You can also sign the Animal Bill of Rights, which, while not nearly strong enough, includes language to help protect animals from the worst exploitation, neglect, abuse and cruelty.

I also joined their Facebook cause and am recruiting others who might not know about this issue.

Check it out, and join in if you are moved to help animals who cannot help themselves.

~ Marsha

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Life Can Be Fair If We Make It That Way

scalesSomething I remember my mom telling me quite often as a child is “Life isn’t fair.” I would always argue with her, because I didn’t believe it had to be unfair. If everyone just treated everyone nicely, then life would be fair, darn it!

I’ve heard people use the “Life isn’t fair” refrain to excuse all manner of atrocities and injustices. People are homeless? That sucks, but life isn’t fair. Your corporation just cut 5,000 jobs, including yours? Dang, that’s rough; but that’s the breaks, dude. As an adult, I’ve come to respond to that “Life isn’t fair” statement — which gets tossed out as an easy, blithe way to absolve us all of any personal responsibility – with the following: “But it can be.”

The other day, when reading a book by fantasy author Mercedes Lackey, I came across this passage of dialogue between two characters:

“Life isn’t fair.”
“Why not?”
“Because it isn’t.”
“And the more people that say that, the more people there are who use that as their excuse to be cruel, mean and ugly. ‘Life isn’t fair’ is nothing but an excuse people make to justify bad things they do. But why shouldn’t life be fair? What’s keeping it from being fair? Those same cruel, mean and evil people….And the more people there are who try to make life fair, the more likely it is that it will become fair.” (Foundation, p. 51)

I wouldn’t judge others quite so harshly as to widely proclaim that all roads to injustice point to “cruel, mean and evil people.” There are plenty of ways that we all condone and cultivate injustice without meaning to. But what especially resonated with me was the last sentence: “And the more people there are who try to make life fair, the more likely it is that it will become fair.”

If we want a world that’s compassionate, sustainable, kind, just and fair, then it’s up to us to make choices in our daily lives that nurture and support such a world (and to help create systems that do the same).

So, the next time someone gives you the old “Life isn’t fair” platitude, show them differently. Make life fair.

~ Marsha